Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (April 25-28): Broccoli City Festival, Filmfest DC, and Awesome Con

Awesome Con runs Friday through Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Photograph courtesy Leftfield Media / Awesome Con.


FILM The 33rd annual Filmfest DC opens on Thursday and features 80 films from 45 countries, with a special focus on food, music, and social justice. Many screenings will include director Q&As and additional special guests. A screening of Echo in the Canyon (4/27, Lincoln Theatre), which looks at the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1960s, will be followed by a concert featuring Jakob Dylan (the Wallflowers), Cat Power, and Jade Castrinos (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). Screenings of Michelin Stars: Tales From the Kitchen (Landmark’s E Street Cinema) will feature appearances by chefs Aaron Silverman (Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls) (4/28) and Jorge Hernandez of minibar (4/30). Local films include the 3-D virtual reality documentary Traveling While Black, which was filmed at Ben’s Chili Bowl and will screen there, too (4/28, 4/29), and local novelist George Pelecanos’s DC Noir (5/4, AMC Mazza Gallerie), which was filmed in DC and features a score by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty. Through May 5. Most films are $14, but there are discount packages for those who buy in bulk.

FESTIVAL The Broccoli City festival moves from its previous home of RFK to FedEx Field this year for an outdoor concert on Friday night and Saturday, featuring Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne, and more. But before the music gets started, the festival will devote two days to a conference for millennials who want to build and enhance their communities, including talks with entertainment industry leaders like Quality Control Music’s Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Live Nation Urban president Shawn GeeBroccoliCon: 4/25-4/26 at the National Union Building, $225. Festival: 4/26-4/27 at FedEx Field, $55.50 (Friday only), $99.50 (Saturday only), or $150.50 (two-day pass).

THEATER The Anacostia Playhouse’s youth acting ensemble will take on The Rainbow Fish Musical this weekend. In this production, the most beautiful fish in the ocean must learn to keep its vanity in check and finds out that kindness is far more admirable than physical beauty. Through April 28. $10.


CONVENTION Get your nerd on at the seventh Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Check out everything from comics to cosplay to gaming tournaments to TV and film; young fans can enjoy hands-on activities at Awesome Con Jr. This year’s Awesome Con again features several niche segments: the Smithsonian partnership Future Con embraces science fiction with tech demonstrations and other expert talks and Pride Alley celebrates LGBTQ creators and fans with special panel discussions on diversity. In addition to a really hefty schedule of panels and special events, there’s also a long list of celebrity guests, including Val Kilmer, Riverdale’s Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa, The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal, This Is Us’s Milo Ventimiglia, and The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes. Through April 28. Single day tickets: $40-$55; 3-day weekend pass: $80 (note that autographs and photo ops are sold separately).

FLOWERS Get your Insta feed ready for a floral explosion with a 40,000 tulip display at The Park at CityCenterDC. Wander through the blooms, take pictures, and pick your own flowers for $1 a stem. A portion of the proceeds will benefit DC Central Kitchen. Through April 28. Free to attend, 10 AM – 6 PM.

MUSEUMS The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Living Earth Festival kicks off on Friday night (6:30 PM) with a screening of the 2018 documentary Return, which shows how Native American women are reclaiming traditional foodways. The festival, which centers on “Farm to Table: Sustaining Our Future Through Indigenous Knowledge” continues on Saturday (10 AM – 5:30 PM) with a day full of demonstrations in the museum’s atrium and on Sunday with a “Conversation with the Chefs” (3 PM) and a signing of Sean Sherman’s book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen. Through April 28. Free.


VOLUNTEER Looking for ways to give back this spring and summer? Stop by Volunteer Capitol Hill at the Hill Center for a showcase of nonprofits. Think of it as a sort of job fair (except you don’t have to bring a resume): chat with local organizations to find the one that’s the best fit for your interests and skill set, whether you want to get more involved with the most vulnerable DC families (A Wider Circle, Community of Hope), school-aged kids (DC Tutoring & Mentoring Initiative, College Bound), or the DC political landscape (DC Republican Party, Ward 6 Democrats). Free, 10 AM – 1 PM.

CATS Felines take center stage at the first-ever Meow DC at Dock 5 at Union Market. Browse vendor booths and check out animals available for adoption at this event sponsored by the Humane Rescue Alliance. $40 in advance or $45 at the door, 10 AM – 5 PM.

SHOPPING Handmade Arlington is a juried arts and crafts show at Swanson Middle School. Browse over 60 makers who will be selling their jewelry, artwork, ceramics, candles, and more. Free, 10 AM to 4 PM.


BIKE Much has been written about the death of bike activist Dave Salovesh last Friday and, in his memory, the bike community will continue to demand safer bike lanes and better protection for cyclists. Add your spokes to the wheel in a group ride and demonstration organized by Safe Streets for Hill East and Near Northeast as well as HandlebarsDC. It will start with a visit to the ghost bike erected in Salovesh’s memory (1200 K St NE) then proceed to a potluck in the closed portion of West Virginia Ave at 800 K St NE. At noon, march or ride to REI if you want to join the WABA Sprouts Ride (which is not protest-related). Wear green and read up on the proposed K St NE Road Diet plans and Safe Passage on K Street. Free, 10:30 AM. 

BOOKS The 14th annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival celebrates the International Day of the Book with over 100 authors, publishers, and community organizations in Old Town Kensington. The festival has a dense schedule of events—live music, readings, guest speakers, and panels for aspiring authors—aimed at bookworms of all ages. Free, 11 AM – 4 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend

“Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse” closes 4/28 at the Hirshhorn.

This post has been updated.